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Stefani Bearkland


Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Southeaster University Master of Education, Educational Leadership, National-Louis University Certification, Exceptional Student Educational Leadership; Endorsement, ESOL and Reading

Stefani Bearkland started teaching in 2006 and joined Coastal Connections Academy in 2021. She is an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teacher who works with 11th- and 12th-grade students. Ms. Bearkland supports students with math skills, reading comprehension, writing skills, social skills, and study skills; she also teaches a course called Learning Strategies.

Why I Became a Teacher

When I graduated from high school, I had no intention of being a teacher. I went to college to study psychology and planned to work as a counselor or social worker. A few years after graduating from college, I started working in a high school as a behavior specialist. That was when I fell in love with education.

I enjoy helping students find success in school and helping them prepare for life. Almost 16 years later, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I have had the opportunity to work in various counties and have worked in bricks-and-mortar schools, district offices, and virtual schools.

The Benefits of Online High School Learning

Not all students are successful in bricks-and-mortar schools. Having an online school opportunity is game-changing for some students. It provides a different environment for them to learn, and I have watched students thrive and succeed in school in ways that they didn’t know was possible. That is why I love teaching as a virtual teacher.

The key to building engagement is building relationships. When students know that teachers care about them, they will become more engaged and willing to try harder. I care about students and help them discover that they can be successful at school.

“Having an online school opportunity is game-changing for some students.”

– Ms. Bearkland